tv Democratic National Convention NBC September 6, 2012 9:00pm-11:00pm EDT
good night, america! tonight the main event here in charlotte. after powerful warm-ups from michelle obama. >> we must work like never before. >> and bill clinton, just last night. >> you must reelect president barack obama. >> tonight joe biden leads off and then the president makes his case for re-election. 3 f2 >> aquí está brian williams.
the primetime address by president obama and the beginning really of the final push, when americans wake up tomorrow morning, this election is suddenly 60 days away. now, as you know, the president's surrogates from the first lady to former president bill clinton have laid the groundwork for tonight and shortly we'll hear from vice president joe biden and then, of course, present barack obama. we were not supposed to be in here tonight. we were supposed to be across town in the football stadium. you see it there live, for what was supposed to be an outdoor celebration for upwards of 65,000 people, but the risk of rough weather was too great. it came through here late this afternoon. as of tonight, you can second guess this all evening. jim cantore, where are you when we need you? but as a layman, other than that massive shower to our north and east, looks like we might have squeaked through, but who's to know. now having said that, once inside this arena, the evening got off to an emotional start
when former congresswoman gabby giffords was escorted to the main stage by democratic party chair debbie wasserman schultz and then led this convention in the pledge of allegiance. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> trust me when i tell you there was not a dry eye in the house after that moment. and by way of introducing my friends here in the booth with us, as you see gabby giffords and her astronaut husband watching on, you know, savannah guthrie is here, david gregory, chuck todd. savannah, as a fellow arizonan, something who knows something of the recovery process for this member of congress, you and i were there in the immediate
aftermath of the shooting. the word herculean keeps coming up. >> when you see her walk out there, it was a labored walk but there she is. when you think about what she went through, being shot point blank in the head, it's amazing. from what my impression is of her recovery, to be able to say the pledge of allegiance from memory was an incredible feat of strength. as you mentioned, there really wasn't a dry eye in this room. >> your expectations for this evening? you and i were talking during "nightly news" about the fact that life comes down to just a few moments, and certainly in the life of this party and this president is going to be one tonight. >> no question about it. think about it, when a campaign when normal people start focusing on it, there's only a handful of big moments. the conventions are a big moment, the debates are a big moment. one adviser put it tuesday night was about the argument with the heart with michelle obama. last night was about the head, the articulation from president clinton. now it's time to hear from the leader himself to make an argument only the president can
make to the american people. this is where i want to take you for the next four years. a word that advisers have said a lot, hopeful but also honest. >> all of us have covered the white house, only one of us still covers the white house. if he looks tired, that's why, chuck todd. we're friends and co-workers and for the length of this entire night i han't seen you -- >> in the flesh. >> chuck, i asked a question tom brokaw during "nightly news" tonight, if you look at politics and life like baseball, the expression run support, you're out there supporting your starting pitcher, which gathering in your view has done it better, tampa for the romney campaign or charlotte for obama? >> so far i don't think it's that close. i think every hour of this convention, the tampa convention for romney looks more and more like a missed opportunity. that's not to say it was a bad convention. that's not to say mitt romney didn't get some things accomplished that he needed to
do. but if you think about this campaign in different sections, mitt romney was a little bit behind sort of going into the general election and he's been behind in the summer. he stayed behind. the conventions, it looks like he's going to stay behind, barring the president somehow laying an egg tonight, which i don't think any of us expect. now the pressure is really on him in that first debate. savannah talked about moments. the convention now might have been a missed moment for him. the next big moment is not going to be just the debates, the first debate. the pressure on him to win that first debate now is greater than it's been had he had, frankly, won the, quote, convention period. >> now, we just heard from john kerry a few moments ago. he's going to be playing mitt romney in the mock debate practice for the president. >> he did. and remember in that race, we keep going back to that '04 race, kerry, an incumbent president, and i think it drives john kerry crazy when some people make that comparison. but kerry had the same problem. he didn't win his conventions, he lost the convention stage of that race.
the pressure was on him to win the first debate. he did and he changed the race. that's not to say this doesn't happen. the kerry example is a good one to look back on. >> david gregory, there is a reason americans hold politics and politicians in such low esteem these days. everyone is kind of sick of nothing being able to get done, the tone and tenor of the debate. i wanted to get your reaction to a moment during bill clinton's speech last night when he talked about the hatred and vitriol between the two parties. >> though i often disagree with republicans, i actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate our president and a lot of other democrats. >> now, no sooner had he said that than twitter was alight saying sure, from one of the great inside political players of all time, now you can say that. but it does encapsulate at least part of this debate. >> nobody is going to suggest
that democrats, particularly team obama, doesn't know how to be ruthless in their campaigning. i think that's powerful language for this reason. there are a lot of supporters of president obama who may have turned against him after 2008 who don't like the tenor and tone of the opposition against him, where it becomes so personal and so hateful, questioning his legitimacy as a president, where he was born and all the rest of some of these at the -- debates that we have heard. a lot of americans say this is not how i want the story of this presidency to end after one term. i think that's what the president will try to connect with tonight. >> savannah, one of the columnists today said one of the aims of tonight's speech by the president will be his effort to tell the american people how he plans to be a better president going forward. >> well, that's where that word "honest" comes into play. he has to be candid. i think in some sense that time for soaring speeches and the rhetorical flourishes is past. we expect the president to give a good speech but i expect we'll
see more substance than perhaps even 2008 about what he plans to do. advisers are sensitive to that issue, the notion that he hasn't really laid out what he's passionate about other than re-election. so we'll have to see if he is able to connect with voters that way tonight. >> one thing an incumbent can do is talk about leadership in actual terms. killing osama bin laden on his watch. leadership as the commander in chief. that matters. that's one of the powers of incumbency i think we'll hear from joe biden and the president himself. the republican party does not have a natural advantage on national security. i think you'll hear the speakers talk p that tonight. >> chuck todd, you brought your electronics. >> i did, i did. look, i just -- this race, the next 60 days, folks, we're going to stay in nine states. here it is really fast. the president and vice president together. they're leaving -- i'll show you how it just matters. they're going to new hampshire and iowa tomorrow, then the next
day you'll have obama going to florida, biden going to ohio. this is where the whole thing is being done. and the fact that it's only nine states. this is another reason why mitt romney is behind. let me show you the states that are not on there. i don't have pennsylvania on our battleground map. we don't have michigan on our battleground map. mitt romney didn't expand his playing field. that's what the summer was supposed to be for. that's what the conventions could have been used. for it hasn't happened and the battleground is advantage obama. >> let's go down to andrea mitchell as one of the truly coveted seats in this arena, alongside and right behind, as you see there, the podium. andrea, we've been saying that the floor of this arena is smaller, more intimate. again, we didn't intend to be indoors for this event. there are 60,000 very disappointed ticket holders who had to settle for a conference call today from the president, and he has promised them to come back to charlotte during the next 60 days.
>> and you can bet that he will. of course they're people who had lined up to get these tickets. the tickets didn't cost anything, but they put a lot of their own time into it. it was a very important part of the get out to vote effort here. they really wanted to register people or to get them excited about becoming registered voters and get their contacts and follow up with them. well, they have their contacts. they reached out to them. he did do a call-out. he said that he was as disappointed as they are, but that safety came first. and you saw the weather band, we all saw the storms, felt the storms this afternoon. so they played it safe. and even if they do get through the evening, they would have had all these people coming by busloads and busloads this afternoon just when those thunderstorms hit. and their concern was that all these people would have been stranded, dropped off from the buses, left outside. they would have had a lot of angry people, even if nothing worse than that had happened. it was a high political risk. they moved it inside. but what you saw, brian, and i saw earlier, they have really
gotten people excited here not only with the speeches, but with high level entertainment. mary j. blige and the foo fighters have really been rocking this place. brian. >> it really was more like a rock concert earlier. andrea, i know crowds are hearty, but it is witheringly, oppressively hot and humid outside and people would have been out in those elements for six, eight hours before the event. so maybe it is for the good that we're inside. andrea mitchell, up behind the podium. let's go to ron allen, speaking of crucial political battleground states. ron allen is in virginia, at least the delegation. >> we are, brian. it's one of only seven states that have seats on the floor. as you pointed out, it's a very tight fit here. it's very intimate, it's very snug, it's hard to move around. but there is a lot of energy here and there's a lot of excitement. and there's a lot of disappointment as well i can say from talking to some of the delegates who wanted to be part of a huge outdoor event.
and some administration officials are also saying they're disappointed, they wanted to do that. there are some analyst who say will tell you that the campaign really needed to have a big, big moment like they did back in 2008 in colorado where they had 70,000, 80,000 people cheering the president on. this arena is very intimate. it's very vertical. it's very tight and the acoustics are great. there are some people here who are saying that maybe that's to the good because the president perhaps needs to have an intimate chat with his supporters about what he's going to do during the next four years. campaign officials also say we're also openly saying that it's also important how this event plays out beyond this arena out in the real world, specifically in swing states like virginia, like ohio and other places. and more specifically, they're trying to reach with the president's speech they're saying, voters who supported him back in 2008 who now have their doubts or who now are wavering. that really is the target audience.
but, you know, for now right here they're going to have a huge party, a huge celebration. everyone expects a great speech from the president. >> ron allen down on the floor near the virginia delegation. ron, thanks. for those viewers just joining us for what is two hours of primetime coverage, again, tonight in its entirety we'll have live the speeches of the vice president and of course the president here tonight. what you won't see is a balloon drop. a convention staple. again, because we didn't think we'd be inside for the climactic moment of this convention. they were planning on outdoor fireworks, so we'll just have to do without balloons tonight. somehow all of this brings me to white house senior adviser valerie jarrett who has magically replaced not just one, but two men. >> isn't that funny how one woman can replace two men? >> thank you very much for coming up and being with us. >> my pleasure. >> i'm interested in contrition.
i know the president's job tonight is to drum up the base, win back fans, remind everybody of '08. what will we hear tonight about how he's going to be a better president? >> well, i think savannah said it a couple of minutes ago. this is going to be a very honest conversation, certainly to our supporters who are here and watching around the country. but it's a speech really for all americans. he's the president of the united states of america and he's looking forward to having a chance to make his case directly to the american people for why he deserves to be re-elected president. it's been a great convention, it's been electric, and i think it's crystallizing, the choice that's really before the american people. >> the bob woodward book is coming out, and in it apparently the white house staff is in for a good savaging during the economic debacle.
you, i guess, have to play mistake-free ball now for 60 days, hope for nothing but positive coverage. >> look, the president is prepared to roll up his sleeves and work very hard over the next 60 days just as he has over the course of his presidency. often things happen that are unpredictable. the weather was unpredictable tonight. but you know what, if you listen to the applause and enthusiasm in this stadium, you see we're making the best of the situation. and i think that tonight kicks off the campaign in earnest, and i think that you're going to see momentum build and as he makes his case, we have every confidence that when people see the options, the stark choices in front of them that, they will re-elect president obama. >> how do you reignite '08? >> this isn't about '08. we're moving forward. that's our whole philosophy. '08 was inspirational, aspirational, now the president is running on a track record, a very strong track record. he also gets to present his hopes for the future and his vision for the future. and so '08 was in a sense magic
in a bottle as he often says, but from the electricity that you hear here and we see as we we travel around this great country, enthusiasm and support for him is very strong and building. >> valerie jarrett, senior adviser in the obama white house. thank you very much for coming on up to this high elevation tonight. >> it's my pleasure. thank you. andrea mitchell standing by with new york senator right after this. auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it?
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were in tampa. maybe we will touch on later on what modern day security has done to lock down both of these cities in rapid succession. let's go down to andrea mitchell with a special guest from her position just behind the podium. >> i'm here with senator kirsten gillibrand. senator gillibrand, tell me about this convention and moving it indoors. has it dampened the enthusiasm? >> not at all. to be here right now at this moment, there's so much electricity in this room. i can't tell you how palpable the excitement is to hear president obama tonight. we've had some amazing speeches, starting with michelle obama, who was so emotional, so touching, so powerful. and then to second that with bill clinton the next night where he laid out the case for what barack obama has fought for these last four years and what he's going to do the next four years. it's really incredible.
so tonight it's a really special night. for me personally to see gabby giffords walk out on that stage and lead us all in the pledge of allegiance, it really just showed how strong this party is and how much courage it has. >> you talked to her before she went on stage. >> i did. >> she's doing much better? >> she feels good. she's happy, she's strong. she's so excited that she's part of this convention. and you know when president obama went to tucson right after the shooting, it was one of the best speeches i thought he ever gave because it really talked about who we are as an american people. >> thank you so much, senator gillibrand. back to you, brian. >> thank you, andrea. thank you, senator. you noted they were trying to keep their volume down because of the speaker who happens to be dr. jill biden right now. let's go to the podium and listen in for a bit. >> that he will continue to fight for you every day. thank you, god bless our troops and god bless our military families. thank you!
>> well, however brief, tom brokaw, dr. biden was talking about a big cause in addition to education in the biden and obama families, and that is military families. the democrats kind of called out the republicans for the speech of mitt romney, which for the first time in 60 years did not mention troops who have been fighting, as you know, on two fronts for the better part of a decade. >> by any objective analysis, the democrats have done a far better job of paying tribute to those people who are fighting those wars and the cause now everyone has to get involved in, which is to find jobs for them once they come home. let me read you something that came not from "the new york times" editorial page, not from the nation, not from joe biden. the united states has 68,000 troops fighting in afghanistan, over 2,000 americans have died there. mitt romney has supported that war, yet in his speech accepting his party's nomination for commander in chief, mitt romney said not a word about the war in afghanistan nor did he utter a
word of appreciation to the troops fighting there or to those who have fought there. william crystal writing in "the standard," one of the most conservative commentators in america today. i think that there must be a sense at the very least, acute disappointment on the part of a lot of people. those two wars are the centerpiece of eight years of a republican president, george w. bush, his vice president, richard cheney. we have not heard from them either recently in terms of finding jobs and what do we do now about those wars. >> savannah guthrie, you covered the white house a good, long time and you heard people ask this. how does that happen? offering praise for the u.s. military, the selfless job of volunteer soldiers is a slam dunk politically at the very least. how does it happen? >> you imagine any speechwriter just starts with that topic because you know you're going to get there. hard to imagine. i will say this, having spoken to a lot of romney advisers,
they were singularly consumed with the business of this convention being enhancing his image, telling americans about his biography. that was clearly the agenda of the convention. by the way, they think that they did well on that score coming out of the convention. there were polls that said, okay, the republicans didn't get a huge bump out of their convention but they did see his image, those personal characteristics picked up a little bit, so i think that may account for the fact that they didn't include that in the speech. they really were trying to concentrate on biography, tell a story about the real mitt romney, because they feel the obama campaign had a strategy of spending all the money they had in the bank trying to savage him all summer, tried to dirty him up, say he was connected with bain capital, and they feel that mitt romney survived that but they needed to bolster those personal credentials. that was the work of the convention. but i think if you asked them now and gave them truth serum, they would acknowledge that was a huge oversight in the speech. >> david gregory, right now the
hall is watching a short film on vice president joe biden. to let viewers in on what's going on, we'll be taking a break, come back and join the vice president's speech live in its entirety. these haven't been the best days for joe biden. his poll numbers have been down. he got bumped in his primetime slot because of really the logistics to former president bill clinton. so what of life these days for this politician, turns 70 in a month or so. >> the obama team knew exactly what they were getting in joe biden when they signed up. gaffe prone, speaks off the cuff. that can be very effective in places where he's going to campaign to help president obama. i think he's been a very valuable adviser to him, particularly on national security matters and even dealing with congress, so there's not a tremendous amount of success there. but i think joe biden has been overshadowed, certainly by bill clinton. joe biden has to be thinking about whether he wants to run for the presidency in 2016 and whether this convention gives
him a springboard. we've heard a lot about whether he got ahead of the president on gay marriage. the president has talked a lot about making sure that biden put himself in a position where that rift can be exploited, to keep them closer together. all in all, there's a lot of attention on it but this has been a pretty successful vice president, particularly for president obama. >> well, joe biden's moment will come up in a few minutes before this gathering. we will fit a break in here. on the other side we'll hear from the vice president, who himself was renominated by this gathering just tonight. we're lifelock, and we believe you have the right to live free from the fear of identity theft. our pledge to you? as long as there are identity thieves, we'll be there. we're lifelock. and we offer the most comprehensive identity theft protection ever created. lifelock: relentlessly protecting your identity. call 1-800-lifelock or
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and we'll let events take you from there as the vice president is introduced. >> he's the author of the violence against women act, who's had the courage to stand against the abuse of power his whole career. he's the father of an iraq war veteran, who believes our one sacred obligation is to take care of those who have served this nation. >> i can say with absolute certitude, i am more optimistic about america's chances today than i have been my entire life. >> grit, determination, resilience, optimism. that's been the story of america. the story of ordinary people with extraordinary courage, overcoming extraordinary obstacles and always, always moving towards a better day. joe biden knows that story. he's lived it.
our vice president, joe biden. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the vice president of the united states, joe biden. [ cheers and applause ]3 c1 >> you might have seen there, by the way, the first lady and dr. biden have seats tonight on the floor. they were in the vip box, which is well up and away from the podium. but it gives tonight a different feel. she just exchanged a hearty thumbs up with the vice president.
there you have it. >> hello my fellow democrats! and my favorite democrat. jill ie, i want you to know that bo and hunt and ash and i are so incredibly proud of you. we admire the way every single solitary young person, and they're not all young, walk into your classroom, you not only teach them, you give them confidence. you give me confidence. and the passion, the passion she brings to try to ease the burden on the families of our warriors. jillie, they know you understand them, and that makes a gigantic difference. and folks, i tell you what, it
was worth the trip to hear my wife say what i've never heard her say before. she's always loved me. if that's the case, why in the heck did it take five times of asking you, and that's true, five times. i don't know what i would have done, kiddo, had you on that fifth time said no. i love you. you're the love of my life and the life of my love. we've got three incredible kids. and beau, i want to thank you for putting my name in nomination to be vice president of the united states. i accept. [ cheers and applause ]
i accept. with great honor and pleasure, i accept. thank you. thank you, my fellow democrats. and i say to my fellow americans, my fellow americans, four years ago, a battered nation turned away from the failed policies of the past and turned to a leader who they knew would lift our nation out of the crisis. a journey, a journey we haven't finished yet. we know we still have more to do. but today i say to my fellow citizens in the face of the deepest economic crisis in our lifetime, this generation of americans has proven itself as worthy as any generation before
us. for we present that same grit, that same determination, that same courage that is always defined what it means to be an american. has always defined all of you. together we're on a mission. we're on a mission to move this nation forward from doubt and downturn to promise and prosperity. a mission i guarantee you we will complete. a mission we will complete. folks, tonight what i really want to do is tell you about my friend, barack obama. no one could tell it as well or
as eloquently as michelle, as you did last night, michelle, or monday night. but i know him, to state the obvious, from a different perspective. i know him. and i want to show you, i want to show you the character of a leader who had what it took when the american people literally stood on the brink of a new depression. a leader who has what it takes to lead us over the next four years to a future as great as our people. i want to take you inside the white house to see the president as i see him every day, because i don't see him in sound bites. i balk walk 30 paces down the h into the oval office and i see him. i watch him in action. four years ago, the middle class was already losing ground, and
then the bottom fell out. the financial crisis hit like a sledgehammer on all the people i grew up with. you remember the headlines. you saw some of them in the previews. highest job losses in 60 years. headlines, economy on the brink. markets plummet worldwide. from the very moment president obama sat behind the desk resolute in the oval office, he knew he had not only to restore the confidence of a nation, but he had to restore the confidence of the whole world. and he also knew, he also knew that one, one false move could bring a run on the banks or a
credit collapse to put another several million people out of work. america and the world needed a strong president with a steady hand and with the judgment and vision to see us through. day after day, night after night i sat beside him as he made one gutsy decision after the other, to stop the slide and reverse it. i watched him. i watched him stand up. i watched him stand up to intense pressure and stare down enormous, enormous challenges. the consequences of which were awesome. but most of all, i got to see firsthand what drove this man. his profound concern for the average american. he knew, he knew that no matter
how tough the decisions he had to make were in that oval office, he knew that families all over america sitting at their kitchen tables were literally making decisions for their family that were equally as consequential. you know, barack and i, we've been through a lot together these four years. and we learned about one another, a lot about one another. one of the things i learned about barack is the enormity of his heart, and i think he learned about me, the depth of my loyalty to him. [ applause ] and there's another thing. another thing that has bound us together these past four years. we had a pretty good idea what
all those families, all you americans in trouble, were going through. in part because our own families had gone through similar struggles. barack as a young man had to sit at the end of his mother's hospital bed and watch her fight with her insurance company at the very same time she was fighting for her life. when i was a young kid in third grade, i remember my dad coming up the stairs of my grandpop's house where we were living, sitting at the end of my bed and saying, joey, i'm going to have to leave for a while. i'm going down to wimgton, delaware, with uncle frank. there are good jobs down there, honey. in a little while, in a little while i'll be able to send for you and mom and jimmy and val and everything is going to be fine. for the rest of our lives, my sister and my brothers, for the
rest of our life, my dad never failed to remind us that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. it's about -- it's about your dignity. [ applause ] it's about respect. it's about your place in the community. it's about being able to look your child in the eye and say, honey, it's going to be okay. and mean it and know it's true. [ applause ] and barack and i -- when barack and i were growing up, there was an implicit understanding in america that if you took responsibility, you'd get a fair shot at a better life, and the values, the values behind that bargain were the values that shaped both of us and many, many of you.
and today those same values are barack's guiding star. folks, i've watched him. he has never wavered. he never, never backs down. he always steps up and he always asks in every one of those critical meetings the same fundamental question. how is this going to affect the average american? how is this going to affect people's lives? that's what's inside this man. that's what makes him tick. that's who he is. and folks, because of the decisions he has made and the incredible strength of the american people, america has turned the corner. the worst job loss since the great depression, we've since
created 4.5 million private sector jobs in the past 29 months. president obama and governor romney, they're both -- they're both loving husbands. they're both devoted fathers. but let's be straight. they bring a vastly different vision and a vastly different value set to the job. and tonight, tonight although you've heard people talk about it, i want to talk about two things from a slightly different perspective, from my perspective. i'd like to focus on two crises and show you, show you the character of the leadership that each man will bring to this job. because as i said i've had a ringside seat.
the first of these, a lot's been talked about, and god love jennifer grandholm, wasn't she great? wasn't she great? i love jennifer. but the first story i want to talk to you about is the rescue of the automobile industry. and let me tell you, let me tell you from this man's ringside seat, let me tell you about how barack obama saved more than a million american jobs. in the first -- in the first days, the first days that we took office, general motors and chrysler were literally on the verge of liquidation. if the president didn't act, if he didn't act immediately, there wouldn't be any industry left to save. so we sat hour after hour in the oval office. michelle remembers what he must
have thought when he came back upstairs. we sat. we sat hour after hour. we listened to senators, congressman, outside advisers, even some of our own advisers. we listened to them say some of the following things. they said, well, we shouldn't step up. the risks -- the risks were too high. the outcome was too uncertain. and the president, he patiently sat there and he listened. but he didn't see it the way they did. he understood something they didn't get and one of the reasons i love him. he understood that this wasn't just about cars, it was about the people who built and made those cars. and about the america those people built. in those meetings, in those meetings -- in those meetings i often thought about my dad. my dad was an automobile man.
he would have been one of though guys all the way down the line, not on the factory floor, not along the supply chain, but one of those guys who were selling american cars to american people. i thought about what this crisis would have meant for the mechanics and the secretaries and the salespeople who my dad managed for over 35 years. and i know for certain, i know for certain that my dad, were he here today, he'd be fighting like heck for the president, because the president fought to save the jobs of those people my dad cared so much about. ladies and gentlemen, my dad -- my dad respected barack obama and would have respected barack obama had he been around for having had the guts to stand up for the automobile industry when so many others just were prepared to walk away.
you know, when i look back, when i look back now, when i look back on the president's decision, i think of another son of another automobile man, mitt romney. mitt -- no, no. mitt romney, mitt romney grew up in detroit. my dad managed, his dad owned -- well, his dad ran an entire automobile company, american motors. y yes, what i don't understand is in spite of that he was willing to let detroit go bankrupt. i don't think he's a bad guy. no, no, i don't think he's a bad guy. i'm sure he grew up loving cars as much as i did. but what i don't understand, what i don't think he understood, i don't think he understood that saving the automobile worker, saving the industry, what it meant to all
of america, not just autoworkers. i think he saw it the bain way. i mean that sincerely. i think he saw it in terms of balance sheets and write-offs. folks, the bain way may bring your firm the highest profits, but it's not the way to lead our country from the highest office. [ cheers and applause ] when things hung in the balance, when things hung in the balance, i mean literally hung in the balance, the president understood this was about a lot more than the automobile industry. this was about restoring america's pride. he understood. he understood in his gut what it would mean to leave a million people without hope or work if
he didn't act. and he also knew, he also knew, he intuitively understood the message it would have sent around the world if the united states gave up on an industry that helped put america on the map in the first place. convention, resolve, barack obama. that's what saved the automobile industry. conviction, resolve, barack obama. look, you heard my friend john kerry. this president, this president has shown the same resolve, the same steady hand in his role as commander in chief. look, which brings me to the
next illustration i want to tell you about, the next crisis he had to face. in 2008, 2008 before he was president, barack obama made a promise to the american people. he said if i -- if we have bin laden in our sights, we will, we will take him out. he went on to say -- he went on to say that has to be our biggest national security priority. look, barack understood that the search for bin laden was about a lot more than taking a monstrous leader off the battlefield. it was about so much more than that. it was about righting an unspeakable wrong. it was about -- literally, it was about -- it was about healing an unbearable wound, a
nearly unbearable wound in america's heart. and he also knew, he also knew the message we had to send around the world. if you attack innocent americans, we will follow you to the end of the earth. [ cheers and applause ]3 c1 >> most of all, most of all, president obama had an unyielding faith in the capacity and the capability of our special forces. literally the finest warriors in the history of the world, the finest warriors in the history
of the world. so we sat -- originally there were only five of us. we sat in the situation room beginning the fall of the year before. we listened, we talked, we heard. and he listened to the risks and reservations about the raid. he asked again the tough questions. he listened to the doubts that were expressed. but when admiral mccraven looked him in the eye and said, sir, we can get this job done. i sit next to him. i looked at your husband and i knew at that moment he had made his decision. and his response was decisive. he said do it, and justice was done.
[ cheers and applause ] folks -- folks, governor romney didn't see things that way. when he was asked about bin laden in 2007, here's what he said. he said it's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just to catch one person. but he was wrong. he was wrong. because if you understood that america's heart had to be healed, you would have done exactly what the president did and you would move heaven and earth to hunt him down and to bring him to justice.
look, four years ago, four years ago -- the only thing missing at this convention this year is my mom. four years ago my mom was still with us, sitting up in the stadium in denver. i quoted her. i quoted her, one of her favorite expressions. she used to say to all her children, she said, joey, bravery resides in every heart, and the time will come when it must be summoned. ladies and gentlemen, i'm here to tell you what i think you already know. but i watch it up close. bravery resides in the heart of barack obama and time and time again, i witnessed him summon it. this man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart and a spine of steel.
and because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made, because of the determination of american workers and the unparalleled bravery of our special forces, we can now proudly say what you've heard me say the last six months. osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive. [ cheers and applause ] that's right. one man. we know, we know we have more work to do. we know we're not there yet. but not a day has gone by in the last four years when i haven't been grateful as an american that barack obama is our president because he always has the courage to make a tough decision.
[ cheers and applause ] speaking of tough decisions, speaking of tough calls, last week we heard at the republican convention, we heard our opponents, we heard them pledge that they too, they too had the courage to make the tough calls. that's what they said. but folks, in case you didn't noti notice, and i say to my fellow americans, in case you didn't notice, they didn't have the courage to tell you what calls they'd make. they never mentioned any of that. mrs. robinson, you watched from home i guess. you heard them talk so much about how they cared so much
about medicare. how much they wanted to preserve it. that's what they told you. but let's look at what they didn't tell you. what they didn't tell you is that the plan they have already put down on paper would immediately cut benefits for more than 30 million seniors already on medicare. what they didn't tell you is the plan they're proposing would cause medicare to go bankrupt by 2016. and what they really didn't tell you is they, if you want to know, if you want to know, they're not for preserving medicare at all. they're for a new plan. it's called voucher care. look, folks, that's not courage. that's not even truthful. that's not even truthful. in tampa, they talk with great
urgency about the nation's debt and the need to act, to act now. but not once, not one single time did they tell you that they rejected every plan put forward by us, by the bipartisan simplessimpl simpson-bowles commission they referenced or any other respected group to reduce the national debt. they were not for any of them. why? because they're not prepared to do anything about the debt if it contained even $1, i'm not exaggerating, even $1 or one cent in new taxes for millionaires. folks, that's not courage and that's not fair. look, look -- [ applause ] in a sense, this can be reduced to a single notion.
the two men seeking to lead this country over the next four years, as i said at the outset, have fundamentally different visions and have a completely different value set. governor romney believes in this global economy it doesn't matter much where american companies invest and put their money or where they create jobs. as a matter of fact, in his budget proposal, in his tax proposal, he calls for a new tax. it's called a territorial tax. which the experts have looked at and they acknowledge it will create 800,000 new jobs, all of them overseas. all of them. and what i found, what i found fascinating, the most fascinating thing i found last week is when governor romney said that as president, he would take a jobs tour. well, with his support for outsourcing, it's going to have to be a foreign trip.
it will. look, president obama knows that creating jobs in america, keeping jobs in america, bringing jobs back to america is what the president's job is all about. that's what presidents do, or at least are supposed to do. folks, governor romney believes it's okay to raise taxes on middle class by $2,000 in order to pay for another -- literally, another trillion dollar tax cut for the very wealthy. president obama knows that there's nothing decent or fair about asking people with more to do less and with less to do more. governor romney believes, he believes that kids, kids like our dreamers, those immigrant children, those immigrant children who were brought to america's shores through no fault of their own, he thinks they're a drag on the american economy. president obama believes that even though those dreamers,
those kids didn't choose to come here, they have chosen to do right by america and it's time for us to do right by them. [ cheers and applause ] governor romney, governor romney looks at the motion of equal pay in terms of a company's bottom line. president obama, he knows that making sure our daughters get the same pay for the same jobs as our son is every father's bottom line. i kind of expected all that from him. but one thing truly perplexed me at their convention. the thing that perplexed me most was this idea they kept talking about, about the culture of
dependency. they seem to think you create a culture of dependency when you provide a bright, young, qualified kid from a working class family a loan to get to college, or when you provide a job training program in a new industry for a dad who lost his job because it was outsourced. folks, folks, that's not how we look at it. that's not how america has ever looked at it. what he doesn't understand is all these men and women are looking for is a chance, just a chance to acquire the skills to be able to provide for their families so they can once again hold their heads high and lead independent lives with dignity. that's all they're looking for. and it literally amazes me they don't understand that.
you know, i told you at the outset the choice is stark. two different visions, two different value sets. but at its core, the difference is able to be reduced to be a fundamental difference. you see, you, we, most americans have incredible faith in the decency and hard work of the american people, and we know what has made this country. it's the american people. as i mentioned at the outset, four years ago, we were hit hard. you saw, you saw your retirement accounts drained, the equity in your homes down, jobs lost around the line. but what did you do as americans? what you've always done. you didn't lose faith, you fought back. you got up. you're the ones, the american people, you're the ones. you're the reason why we are still better positioned than any country in the world to lead the 21st century. you never quit on america.
and you deserve a president who will never quit on you. [ cheers and applause ] there's one more thing, one more thing our republican opponents are just dead wrong about. america is not in decline. america is not in decline. i've got news for governor romney and congressman ryan. gentlemen, never, ever -- it never makes sense, it's never been a good bet to bet against the american people. never. my fellow americans, america is coming back.
and we're not going back. and we have no intention of downsizing the american dream. never a good bet. ladies and gentlemen, in a moment, in a moment we're going to hear from a man whose whole life is a testament to the power of that dream and whose presidency is the best hope to secure that dream for our children. for, you see, you see, we see a future, we really honest to god do, we see a future where everyone, rich and poor, does their part and has a part, a future where we depend more on clean energy from home and less
on oil from abroad, a future where we're number one in the world in graduation, a future where we promote the private sector, not the privileged sector, and a future -- and a future where women once again control their own choices, their destiny and their own health care. [ cheers and applause ] and ladies and gentlemen, barack and i see a future, it's in our dna, where no one, no one is forced to live in the shadows of intolerance.3 f2 >> compatriotas vemos un futuro
folks, we see a future where america leads not only by the power -- the example of our power, but by the power of our example, where we bring our troops home from afghanistan just as we proudly did from iraq. a future, a future where we fulfill the only truly sacred obligation we have as a nation, the only truly sacred obligation we have, is to prepare those who we send to war and care for them when they come home from war. and tonight, and tonight -- tonight i want to acknowledge -- i want to acknowledge, as we should every night, the
incredible debt we owe to the families of those 6,473 fallen angels and those 49,746 wounded, thousands critically, thousands who will need our help for the rest of their lives. fol folks, we never -- we must never, ever forget their sacrifice and always keep them in our care and in our prayers. my fellow americans, we now -- we now find ourselves at the hinge of history, and the direction we turn is not figuratively, is literally in your hands.
it has been a truly great honor to serve you and to serve with barack, who has always stood up with you for the past four years. i've seen him tested. i know his strength, his command, his faith. and i also know the incredible confidence he has in all of you. i know this man. yes, the work of recovery is not yet complete, but we are on our way. the journey of hope is not yet finished, but we are on our way. and the cause of change is not fully accomplished, but we are on our way. so i say to you tonight with absolute confidence, america's best days are ahead and, yes, we are on our way. and in light of that horizon for the values that define us, for the ideals that inspire us,
there is only one choice. that choice is to move forward, only forward, and finish the job and re-elect president barack obama. [ cheers and applause ] god bless you all, and may god protect our troops. god bless you. thank you. >> a big response in this hall for the vice president. at times as somber as joe biden gets, as modulated as joe biden gets and as fiery as he gets all in the same speech. he tried to use his voice and his volume as an effective tool. you see there the embrace from his wife, dr. jill biden. and again, his role tonight drumming up excitement for the main event, the address by the president here in a few minutes. we're going to have one interim speaker, dick durbin, from illinois.
and as we shift our focus ahead to the president claiming nomination for a second time, we want to bring in white house correspondent kristen welker who is mercifully in from the road as long as the president is in from the road. no rest for the weary. she's out first thing in the morning. kristen, column in "the new york times" this morning and i read this back to the first lady during our interview today described the president as proud yet humble, confident yet scarred, a dreamer, mugged by reality. and if all of thats true and if the democrats have done their best possible job laying out the predicate to go forward, starting with your road trip tomorrow, what can't they control as they leave charlotte? >> well, brian, good evening. i think the one thing they think they can control is the president's message. they think the president has done a pretty good job staying on message for the past several
months for the most part. they think that his message about economic fairness is resonating with middle class voters, with voters in swing states like florida. florida's delegation is right behind me. so they're hoping to build on that with president obama's speech tonight. brian, if you ask them what scares them the most, they will tell you that republican-leaning super pacs which are far outpacing their democratic counterparts scare them the most and of course the economy. tomorrow we get yet another jobs report. i am told that mitt romney is not watching the president's speech tonight, but you can bet he is going to be watching for that job reports tomorrow. the republicans will be ready to pounce on that, aiming to blunt any type of momentum that the president, that the democrats might get out of tonight's speech. brian. >> kristen welker, thanks. chuck todd is across the floor. chuck, let's talk about these numbers. first of all, the big number for the democrats today was the dow closing higher than at any other time in this presidency. but there is the uncertainty
over tomorrow. you believe the president walking in this hall tonight knows the number. >> he does. it's the way this seems to work every thursday before the friday jobs report. his chief economist gets the number, calls him up after the markets close, sometimes around 4:00. that's when he knows. he knows every thursday before that 8:30 report. it will be interesting to see if you feel like you can get a clue of what's to come. obviously a lot of indicators from some of the private payroll folks indicate that it could be a pretty good number. we shall see. as you know, brian, there's one here an then a jobs report the friday before the election. >> all right, chuck todd on the floor. tom brokaw here in our booth. it was a supreme court case, citizens united. the court said in effect if you've got money to spend, that is a form of speech, you should be allowed to spend it and say it. it has upended political speech
in this country, unlimited money. the only way to fix it is really amending the constitution. but as kristen correctly points out, that's what up got to be scared of leaving this convention. >> well, when the supreme court gave them permission, the very wealthy people in this country who are so determined to get rid of barack obama stepped up big-time, writing huge checks. now, in fairness, we'll also tell you on the republican side, labor movements and other progressive social movements are spending a ton of money as well. nothing could be done in the interim except this. you could try to get an agreement in which we would all know within eight or 24 hours who's writing those checks when the super pacs come up so you know where the money is coming from and what some of the interests are. >> let's go down for the tail end of senator durbin's remarks. he is the lead-in into the film that this hall will see. the reintroduction of the nominee of the party, the incumbent president, barack
obama. here now democrat dick durbin of illinois. >> come and meet the working families all across america who now have a chance for affordable health care. at one time a governor thought that was a good idea in massachusetts. well, president obama and millions of american families think it's a great idea for but this president is focused on more than just opportunity. he is focused on justice. i am proud to have been there when he signed his first bill as president of the united states to end discrimination against women in the workplace in honor of lillie ledbetter. and i will tell you i cannot remember a more touching ceremony than when this president gathers together to finally eliminate the
discrimination of don't ask, don't tell in our military. it was 11 years ago. 11 years ago i entered a little bill noknown as the dream act. and i will tell you, my life has been changed by the inspiration of these young men and women who simply want to earn their way into america. we have fought the filibusters in the senate, but we are lucky, it took president obama to finally bring these young people out of the shadows, into the america that they have always called home. it was 150 years ago, 150 years ago that another president from illinois brought justice to his
day with the emancipation proclamation. now, his critics told him he had gone way too far and he should undo what he'd done. but here's what abraham lincoln said. i hope to stand firm enough not to go backwards. we cannot build a better, stronger, fairer america by going backwards. we must walk forward together. and with president obama and vice president joe biden in the white house, we will. president obama, your values, your vision, your commitment to justice are still worth fighting for. thank you. >> we want to bring you now in its entirety the film that is a tradition prior to the main event at these conventions. we couldn't bring you the gop film this cycle because theirs had aired before the networks were on the air in primetime.
this is by the documentary filmmaker that brought us "inconvenient truth" and "waiting for superman" as part of the introduction of the president. >> we've been through a lot together. but we've known tough times before.3 f2 what carries us through? and helps us endure? what are the qualities so essential to us and the leaders who have occupied this office? >> he did some things knowing that they wouldn't be popular in the short run that would lay the
foundation for recovery. no other country in the world would give up the capacity to manufacture cars, and so he did what the government is supposed to do in a case like that. >> do not rescue the automobile industry. i mean it was overwhelming. look at the polling number. >> a country in the midst of a financial crisis that no one really, you know, knew the depths of the challenges that were coming. i think he had a sense. >> my grandparents came out of the depression. they knew what it was like for people not to have work. we all understand work is something more than just a paycheck. what gives you dignity, what gives you a sense of purpose. >> he said you guys have got to work together, come up and everybody has got to have some skin in the game here. you've got to modernize the automobile industry. >> everybody said, oh, that's never going to work. well, guess what, 80,000 more people working in the car
business than we did before the restructuring was passed. there are middle class jobs. people can raise a family on a decent wage. >> we've gone from an economy that was shedding jobs to one that's consistently creating jobs at all sectors. every night he's up until 1:00, 2:00 in the morning with his big stack of briefing books and he reads the letters he gets from people all over america. they are, as he put it, some of the most informative pieces of material that he gets that keeps him grounded. and anyone who has kids know that the truth is no matter what you do, your kids still think that they are the most important people in the room. so we sit around the dinner table and he's the last person to be asked, oh, yeah, how was your day, dad, you know? really he's an afterthought. >> he never starts a
conversation by saying what's the best political decision here? what will help us the most? never. >> kill the bill, kill the bill. >> he wasn't going to back out just because it got hard, just because it didn't poll well. that's just never been who he is and it's certainly not how he will ever govern this country. >> when my mom got cancer, she wasn't a wealthy woman and it pretty much drained all her resources. >> watching your mother die of something that could have been prevented, that's a tough thing to deal with. >> the reason he pushed ahead knowing that there could be horrible political consequences for him, just as for me, is that health care costs had gone up three times the rate of inflation. this is a huge economic issue, because we spend 17.5% of our income on health care. >> anybody who gets medical care, hundreds of thousands of
dollars, imagine working class mom opening up that kind of bill. you know? with somebody sending that to her with a straight face. that understding of that kind of reality for millions of americans drove him to make sure that this legislation got passed. it takes a conscious effort to stay connected with what's going on in people's lives. >> this was a matter of principle for him. he ran on it, he said he was going to do it, and he did it. >> you hire the president to make the calls when no one else can do it. he had to decide. that's one thing george bush said that was right, the president is the decider in chief. >> we were only about 50% sure that bin laden was in that compound.
but i had 100% confidence in our navy s.e.a.l.s. >> i sat in that room with him when we were getting feeds on what was going on at the time. he sat there resolute, concerned, just watching. we got him, confirm it, just boom, boom, boom. then came and explained to everybody the next day in the cabinet room what happened. i mean this is a guy, like i said, a backbone like a ramrod. >> good evening. tonight i can report to the american people and to the world -- >> he took the harder and the more honorable path, and the one that produced in my opinion the best result.
when i saw what had happened, i thought to myself, i hope that's the call i would have made. it was just the right thing to do. >> we have a long way to go. but with every new beginning, every homecoming, every step forward, we remember who we are. >> what's really allowing this economy to heal and get us moving again is the resilience and the strength and the character of the american people. they don't quit. they don't give up. partly because of family, partly because of a sense of community, patriotism and pride in this country. they keep going.
that's the incredible gift that the american people keep giving back to me in this job. >> the obama daughters have quietly been seated down front, and now the first lady makes her second appearance of this convention to introduce her husband of 20 years. >> thank you so much. tonight i am so thrilled and so honored and so proud to introduce the love of my life, the father of our two girls and the president of the united states of america, barack obama.
thank you. thank you so much. thank you. >> four more years, four more years, four more years. >> thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. michelle, i love you so much. a few nights ago, everybody was reminded just what a lucky man i am. malia and sasha, we are so proud
[ cheers and applause ] now, the first time i addressed this convention in 2004, i was a younger man. a senate candidate from illinois who spoke about hope. not blind optimism, not wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty. hope in the face of uncertainty. that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward even when the odds are great. even when the road is long. eight years later, that hope has been tested by the cost of war, by one of the worst economic
crises in history, and by political gridlock that's left us wondering whether it's still even possible to tackle the challenges of our time. i know campaigns can seem small, even silly sometimes. trivial things become big distractions. serious issues become sound bites. the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. if you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am i. but when all is said and done, when you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. over the next few years, big decisions will be made in washington on jobs, the economy,
taxes and deficits, energy, education, war and peace. decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children's lives for decades to come. and on every issue, the choice you face won't just be between two candidates or two parties, it will be a choice between two different paths for america. a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future. ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known. [ applause ] the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in patton's army. the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line when he was gone. they knew they were part of something larger, a nation that triumphed over facism and
depression, a nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the world's best products, and everyone shared in that pride and success from the corner office to the factory floor. my grandparents were given the chance to go to college, buy their own home and fulfill the basic bargain at the heart of america's story. the promise that hard work will pay off, that responsibility will be rewarded, that everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules, from main street to wall street to washington, d.c. [ applause ] and i ran for president because i saw that basic bargain slipping away. i began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill at a time when too
many good jobs were starting to move overseas. and by 2008 we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising, with paychecks that didn't. folks racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition, put gas in the car or food on the table. and when the house of cards collapsed in the great recession, millions of innocent americans lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings. a tragedy from which we're still fighting to recover. now, our friends down in tampa at the republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with america, but th didn't have much to say about how they'd make it right. they want your vote but they don't want you to know their plan. and that's because all they have to offer is the same
prescriptions they have had for the last 30 years. have a surplus? try a tax cut. deficit too high? try another. feel a cold coming on? take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning. [ cheers and applause ] now, i've cut taxes for those who need it. middle class families, small businesses. but i don't believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores or pay down our deficit. i don't believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy or help us compete with the scientists and engineers
coming out of china. after wall we've been through, i don't believe that rolling back regulations on wall street will help the small businesswoman expand or the laid-off construction worker keep his home. we have been there, we have tried that and we're not going back, we are moving forward, america. [ cheers and applause ] now, i won't pretend the path i'm offering is quick or easy. i never have. you didn't elect me to tell you what you meanted to hear, you elected me to tell you the truth. [ applause ] and the truth is it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. it will require common effort and shared responsibility and the kind of bold are persistent
experimentation that franklin roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. and by the way, those of us who carry on his party's legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from washington. but know this, america, our problems can be solved. our challenges can be met. the path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place, and i'm asking you to choose that future. i'm asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country, goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit. real achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity, and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. that's what we can do in the next four years and that is why i am running for a second term as president of the united states.
[ cheers and applause ]3 c1 we can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs. after a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed, we're getting back to basics and doing what america has always done best. we are making things again. i've met workers in detroit and toledo who feared they'd never build another american car, and today they can't build them fast enough because we reinvented a dying auto industry that's back on the top of the world. i worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to
america not because our workers make less pay, but because we make better products. because we work harder and smarter than anyone else. i've signed trade agreements that are helping our companies sell more goods to millions of new customers, goods that are stamped with three proud words, "made in america." >> usa, usa, usa, usa. >> after a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years, and now you have a choice. we can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here in the
united states of america. [ cheers and applause ] we can help big factories and small businesses double their exports. if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. you can make that happen. you can choose that future. you can choose the path where we control more of our own energy. after 30 years off inaction, we raised fuel standards so by the middle of the next decade cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. [ applause ] we have doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries. in the last year alone, we cut oil imports by one million barrels a day, more than any administration in recent history. and today the united states of
america is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last two decades. [ cheers and applause ] so now you have a choice between a strategy that reverses this progress or one that builds on it. we've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years and we'll open more. but unlike my opponent, i will not let oil companies write this company's energy plan, or endanger our coastlines or collect another $4 billi in corporate welfare from our taxpayers. we're offering a better path. we're offering a better path where we -- a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal, where farmers
and scientists harness new biofuels to power or cars and trucks, where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy, where we develop a 100-year supply of natural gas that's right beneath our feet. if you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone. and, yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet, because climate change is not a hoax. more droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. they are a threat to our children's future. and in this election, you can do something about it.
[ cheers and applause ]3 f2 >> eso es lo que se juega en you can choose a future where more americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete. no matter how old they are or how much money they have. education was the gateway to opportunity for me. it was the gateway for michelle. it was the gateway for most of you. and now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle class life. for the first time in a generation, nearly every state has answered our call to raise their standards for teaching and learning. some of the worst schools in the country have made real gains in math and reading. millions of students are paying less for college today because we finally took on a system that wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on banks and lenders. and now you have a choice. we can gut education or we can decide that in the united states of america, no child should have her dreams deferred because of a
crowded classroom or a crumbling school. no family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don't have the money. no company should have to look for workers overseas because they couldn't find any with the right skills here at home. that's not our future. that is not our future. a government has a role in this. but teachers must inspire, principals must lead, parents must instill a thirst for learning. and students, you've got to do the work. and together i promise you we can outeducate and outcompete any nation on earth. so help me, help me recruit 100,000 math and science teachers within ten years and improve early childhood education.
help give two million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job. help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next ten years. we can meet that goal together. you can choose that future for america. that's our future. you know, in a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. four years ago, i promised to end the war in iraq. we did. [ cheers and applause ] i promised to refocus on the terrorist who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have. we have blunted the taliban's
momentum in afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over. [ cheers and applause ] a new tower rises above the new york skyline. al qaeda is on the path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. [ cheers and applause ]3 c1 tonight we pay tribute to the americans who still serve in harm's way. we are forever in debt to a generation who sacrificed and has made this country safer and more respected. we will never forget you. and so long as i'm commander in chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. when you take off the uniform,
we will serve you as well as you have served us, because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads or the care that they need when they come home. [ cheers and applause ] around the world, we've strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. we have reasserted our power across the pacific and stood up to china on behalf of our workers. from burma to libya to south sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings, men and women, christians and muslims and jews. but for all the progress that we've made, challenges remain. terrorist plots must be disrupted. europe's crisis must be contained. our commitment to israel's
security must not waiver, and neither must our pursuit of peace. the iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions. the historic change sweeping across the arab world must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or the hate of extremists but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights that we celebrate here today. so now we have a choice. my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost america so dearly. after all, you don't call russia our number one enemy, not al qaeda, russia, unless you're
still stuck in a cold war mind warp. you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing if you can't visit the olympics without insulting our closest ally. my opponent -- my opponent said that it was tragic to end the war in iraq. and he won't tell us how he'll end the war in afghanistan. well, i have and i will. and while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our joint chiefs don't even want, i will use the money we're no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work rebuilding roads and bridges and schools and runways, because
after two wars, that cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it's time to do some nation building right here at home. [ cheers and applause ] you can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle class. independent experts say that my plan would cut our deficit by $4 trillion. and last summer i worked with republicans in congress to cut a billion dollars in spending, because those of us who believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anyone who reform it. so it's leaner and more efficient and more responsive to the american people. i want to reform the tax code so that simple, fair and ask the wealthiest households to pay
higher taxes on incomes over $250,000, the same rate we had when bill clinton was president, the same rate we had when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history and a whole lot of millionaires to boot. now, i'm still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. no party has a monopoly on wisdom, no democracy works without compromise. i want to get this done, and we can get it done. but when governor romney and his friends in congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficits by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy, well, what did bill clinton call it? you do the arithmetic. you do the math. i refuse to go along with that. and as long as i'm president, i
never will. i refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire's tax cuts. [ cheers and applause ] i refuse to ask students to pay more for college or kick children out of head start programs to eliminate health insurance for millions of americans who are poor and elderly or disabled, all so those with the most can pay less. i'm not going along with that. and i will never, i will never turn medicare into a voucher. no american should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. they should retire with the care
and the dignity that they have earned. yes, we will reform and strengthen medicare for the long haul, but we'll do it by reducing the costs of health care, not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more. and we will keep the promise of social security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it, not by turning it over to wall street. this is the choice we now face. this is what the election comes down to. over and over we've been told by our opponents that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way. that sense government can't do everything, it should do almost nothing. if you can't afford health
insurance, hope that you don't get sick. if a company releases toxic pollution into the air your children breathe, well, that's the price of progress. if you can't afford to start a business or go to college, take my opponent's advice and borrow money from your parents. you know what, that's not who we are. that's not what this country's about. as americans, we believe we are endowed by our creator about certain unalienable rights. we insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate individual initiative. we're not entitled to success, we have to earn it. we honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk takers, the entrepreneurs who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system, the
greatest engine of growth and prosperity that the world has ever known. but we also believe in something called citizenship. [ cheers and applause ] citizenship. a word at the very heart of our founding. a word at the very essence of our democracy. the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. we believe that when a ceo pays his autoworkers enough to buy the cars that they build, the whole company does better. we believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can't afford, that family is protected, but so is the value of other people's homes and so is the entire economy. we believe the little girl who's offered an escape from poverty
by a great teacher or a grant for college can become the next steve jobs, or the scientist who cures cancer, or the president of the united states, and it is in our power to give her that chance.3 c1 we know that churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone. we don't want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves and we certainly don't want bailouts for banks that break the rules. we don't think the government can solve all of our problems. but we don't think that the government is the source of all of our problems. any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we're told to
blame for our troubles. [ cheers and applause ]3 c1 because america, we understand that this democracy is ours. we, the people, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights. that our defendant knstinies ar together. a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died in their defense. [ applause ] as citizens, we understand that
america is not about what can be done for us, it's about what can be done by us. together. through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self government. that's what we believe. but you see, the election four years ago wasn't about me. it was about you. my fellow citizens, you were the change. you're the reason there's a little girl with a heart disorder in phoenix who will get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can't limit her coverage. you did that. you're the reason a young man in colorado who never thought he'd be able to afford his dream of
e earning a medical degree is about to get that chance. you made that possible. you're the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home. why selfless soldiers won't be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love, why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely, welcome home. welcome home. you did that. you did that. you did that. if you turn away now, if you turn away now, if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for is impossible, well,
change will not happen. if you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void. the lobbyists and special interests, the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are trying to make it harder for you to vote. washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves. only you can make sure that doesn't happen. only you have the power to move us forward. you know, i recognize that times have changed since i first spoke to this convention.
times have changed and so have i. i'm no longer just a candidate, i'm the president. [ cheers and applause ]3 c1 and that means i know what it means to send young americans into battle, for i've held in my arms mothers and fathers of those who didn't return. i've shared the pain of families who have lost their homes and the frustration of workers who have lost their jobs. if the critics are right that i've made all my decisions based on polls, then i must not be
very good at reading them. and while i'm very proud of what we've achieved together, i'm far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what lincoln meant when he said i have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that i had no place else to go. but as i stand here tonight, i have never been more hopeful about america. not because i think i have all the answers, not because i'm naive about the magnitude of our challenges, i'm hopeful because of you. the young woman i met at a science fair who won national recognition for her biology research while living with her family at a homeless shelter,